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Amiri Baraka lecture on revolutionary poetry.

Published July 6, 1994

A lecture by Amiri Baraka on the politics of poetics. The lecture ends with a question and answer period covering topics such as jism and jazz, grants in music, whores, hypocrisy, Bob Dylan, and Noam Chomsky.

Run time 1:30:00
Label / Recorded by Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics


Reviewer: framerAte - - May 28, 2006
Subject: your duty as an artist

Baraka begins by reading, not a lecture, but an excellent short manifesto of sorts about the revolutionary responsibilty of art, and the dangers of absorption & exploitation by consumer-culture.

He insists that art is innately political, and artists therefore have an imperative to participate in, even envision and direct, the movement for personal & social transformation.

Q&A starts at around 10:20 (its a short manifesto) -- people raise a variety of issues relating to art & revolution, and Baraka comments. Peter Lamborn Wilson gives a brief hats off.

For instance, there is talk about the problem of revolution led by the middle class: people without the disipline and commitment necessary to sustain revolutionary action beyond the pressures of modern demands, comforts, and a seductive culture.

Thsi is all still incredibly relevant, and Baraka speaks with challenging and provocative clarity.
Reviewer: galletero - - March 8, 2006
Subject: Red enthusiasm
Red enthusiasm, burning enthusiasm, a voice that has red blood in his veins, faith without god, enthusiasm without god, but still high -because low, constructive -not in the clouds-. Medicine for the souls of our hands.
Reviewer: voxpoet - - October 20, 2004
Subject: I love this lecture: Amiri at his best
I was at this a few of the other lectures in the Naropa archive.

Amiri is the most effective when he is talking about things with passion and conviction. This is one of those rare moments when Baraka (speaking to a mostly white middle-class crowd of privleged Naropa students) can and does shine.

This year, the Christian right was gathering steam in the state of Colorado with another annual Boulder gathering - Promise Keepers, a men's conference for "New Christian Leaders". Up the hill, at CU, we could hear the howls of invigorated male testosterone driven energy. Another Kerouac School student and myself (Myshel Prasad) got inside the conference, where we saw Wellington Boone, an African American minister and rally-rouser (amongst the other X-ian Right disease) say to a crowd of thousands, "Brothers, we have to stop licking out wounds about slavery.. god put Israel into slavery.. God put YOU into slavery.. You must find your value in God." Myshel and I came back shaken. the fist person we saw was Amiri. Amiri smiled and said:

"Did you tell them God was dead?"
Reviewer: archivegrl - - September 15, 2004
Subject: Baraka On Literature and Social Change
Interested in a change in material conditions? This is Baraka on revolutionary thinking, regime change, writing a new reality. Consider it a pre-election primer.
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